FLEXIBLE WORK ARRANGEMENTS
About This Policy
Vice President of Business & Operations
Director of Human Resources
In rare situations, the university may permit or require covered employees to follow flexible work arrangements when the arrangements are feasible, secure, reliable, effective, and meet the university’s goals and operational needs. Decisions about the suitability of flexible work arrangements are discretionary and typically made by the management in the school, department, or business unit where the employee works, in consultation with the Office of Human Resources.
Though flexible work arrangements might be a viable option for many covered employees, it is not a right; it is an option that can be modified or revoked by the university at any time. Flexible work arrangements must not interfere with the efficient operation of the university nor adversely affect the services that are provided to students, other operating units, or the public and adequate supervision and employee accountability must be maintained. Employees whose work cannot be performed at a location away from the university campus are not eligible for flexible work arrangements. Some employees may not be eligible due to specific job requirements, impact on a team, or performance concerns.
The grievance procedure does not apply to decisions regarding flexible work arrangement requests.
Evaluation and Agreements
When evaluating the request, the supervisor must determine that the employee can effectively perform the job duties of the position being away from campus. The supervisor must also determine that the arrangement conforms to applicable regulations and policies.
Flexible work arrangements must be documented as approved through a Flexible Work Arrangement Agreement. The agreement establishes the specific conditions that apply to employees working in alternate locations or working with an alternative schedule. The agreement must be approved by the employee’s supervisor and the agreement must be signed by the Office of Human Resources and the
appropriate departmental vice president. Flexible work arrangement agreements may be established for a long-term or permanent period or a short-term period. Flexible work arrangements may also be considered on a case-by-case basis as a reasonable accommodation for qualified employees with disabilities. Flexible work arrangements and approved arrangement plans are not required for occasional circumstances. An employee’s classification, compensation, and benefits will not change if the employee is approved for
flexible work arrangements.
Flexible Work Arrangement Agreements must be reviewed and renewed at least annually during the employee annual review process.
All employees must perform essentially the same work that they would in the central workplace in accordance with their same performance expectations and other agreed-upon terms. The total number of hours that employees are expected to work will not change, regardless of work location or arrangement. Regardless of work arrangements, all employees who are not exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act are required to record all hours worked in a manner designated by the
university and to strictly adhere to required rest and meal breaks. Hours worked in excess of those specified in the flexible work arrangements agreement will require the advanced approval of the supervisor. Supervisors may require employees to report to campus as needed for work-related meetings or other events or may meet with the employee in the alternate work location as needed to discuss work progress or other work-related issues. A review process must be established between the employee and supervisor to evaluate the flexible work arrangements and to assure that work standards continue to be met. All employees with flexible work arrangements must be available and reachable during regular business hours of the university, unless an exception has been given.
Use of Leaves
Employees cannot use flexible work arrangements in place of discretionary leave, Family and Medical Leave, Workers’ Compensation leave, or other types of leave.
However, the university may determine whether or not it is appropriate to offer an alternative work arrangement as an opportunity for a partial or full return to work based on the university’s return-to-work policies following an injury or illness and the criteria normally applied to decisions regarding the approval.
Employees with flexible work arrangements are covered by workers’ compensation for job-related injuries that occur in the course and scope of employment. When the worksite is in the home, workers’ compensation does not cover injuries that are not job-related. Employees who work out of state or out of the country in one location for more than 30 days need workers’ compensation coverage specific to that location.
Compliance and Sanctions
Covered employees with flexible work arrangement must agree to comply with university rules, policies, practices, and instructions and understand that violation of such may result in the termination of the flexible work arrangement and/or disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Employees with these arrangements are subject to the same policies as other employees. This includes complying with all software licensing agreements. The security and confidentiality of university records must also be maintained. Sensitive data should not be placed on a personal computer or device but instead should be accessed via secure remote access technology or stored in locations approved by the university’s data governance policies and procedures.
Employees working from another location may use university-owned equipment only for legitimate university purposes and are responsible for protecting university-owned equipment from theft, damage and unauthorized use. The university is not obligated to assume responsibility for operating costs, home maintenance, or other costs incurred by employees in the use of their homes as alternate work locations.
Reason For Policy
As technology has made it possible to be more flexible in the way we work together to achieve our mission, the university recognizes that some staff seek the option of having a flexible work arrangement on a regular, part-time, or temporary basis.
This policy applies only to flexible work arrangements for covered employees.
- Flexible Work Arrangement Agreement (Log in Required)
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Campus specifically refers to the main Minneapolis North Central Campus.
Compressed Work Schedule
A compressed work schedule allows an employee to work a traditional 40-hour workweek in less than the traditional number of workdays. Examples: a full-time employee scheduled for 40 hours per week could work four 10-hour days instead of five 8-hour days. Or, an employee could opt to work 8.9 hours per day and take one full day off every two weeks.
Core Business Hours
The fixed block of time during which all staff members are expected to be at work. The university’s core business hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
A full-time employee as one who works at least 30 hours a week or 130 hours a month on average.
Any supervisory-approved practice of permitting eligible employees to alter the standard hours on a daily basis. In such cases, operating units establish core hours when the employee must be present unless he or she is on an approved leave. In other words, employees approved for a flexible schedule may change their start and end times on a daily basis provided they work the established core hours.
See Def. Flex Schedule.
Flexible Work Arrangement Agreement
A written agreement between the employer and the immediate supervisor that details the terms and conditions of the employee’s flexible work arrangement.
Flexible Work Arrangements
Non-traditional work arrangement with varied start and stop times or locations; and can include:
- Compressed Work Schedule
- Flex Schedule
- Job Share
A job share arrangement is a full-time job split between two individuals, each with responsibility for the success of the total job. Job sharing allows two staff members to share the responsibilities of one full-time position, typically with prorated salary and paid time off. Creative and innovative schedules can be designed to meet the needs of the job sharers and the department. Job-sharing arrangements can be 50/50, 60/40 or any similar combination. The schedules may also overlap as needed or desired.
Occasional circumstances may include:
- A personal need at home, such as meeting a service technician that cannot be done outside business hours.
- A temporary workplace disruption, such as office remodeling or inclement weather.
- Other circumstances approved by the supervisor.
Peak periods are recurrent times of the year when business activity or work volume is abnormally elevated. During these peak periods, a department may be staffed on-site at a specified level and employees may be required to work on campus for their regular schedule regardless of any other agreements.
The individual in a department, unit, office, or section with primary responsibility for the regular and customary supervision of individual positions.
Telecommuting is a work arrangement that allows the employee to regularly fulfill his/her primary job responsibility at a location other than his/her university worksite, such as at home.
- As needed, submit flexible work arrangement requests.
- Complete the Flexible Work Arrangement Agreement.
- Diligently satisfy employment requirements.
- Record and report time worked.
- Secure equipment that the university may provide.
- Provide appropriate contact information.
Office of Human Resources
- Retain original flexible work arrangement forms.
- Consult with supervisors during the approval of flexible work arrangements.
- Assist supervisors in drafting flexible work arrangements agreements.
- Review and approve the flexible work arrangement agreements for a covered employee.
- Review arrangements with employees routinely and at least on an annual basis.
- Monitor and evaluate employee performance.
- Review and sign Flexible Work Arrangement Agreements as needed.